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Jerry Brown Takes Away 48,000 State Employees' Cellphones

In an effort to get California's unruly budget under control, Jerry Brown is taking away the taxpayer-provided cellphones of 48,000 state employees.

In an effort to get California's unruly budget under control, Jerry Brown is taking away the taxpayer-provided cellphones of half of the 96,000 state employees who have them. The savings? Twenty million dollars a year.

"It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with tax-payer funded cell phones," Brown said in a written statement. "The current number of phones out there is astounding."


Brown said he would like to see the number of cell phones cut by 48,000 by June 1, but said it may take a bit longer because some of those devices may be under contract with carriers. He noted that even with the reduction, one-fifth of state employees will still have cell phones.

Watch out for those early termination fees!

Of course, while $20 million may sound like a lot, California could save $125.5 million by getting rid of the death penalty.

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